Sunday, August 27, 2006

Israel: protection? I

Since the creation of the State of Israel, it has proven to be the most dangerous place all over the world for Jews to live. About 25,00 deaths, with, Hashem yishmereinu, no end in sight to the bloody war with the Arabs. Here we are, with an average of a major war every 10 years, not counting intifadas and terrorism, and anti-semitism that has been generated by the Zionists. More Jews have been killed and maimed in the "safe haven" than everywhere else in the world put together! Is that something to say Hallel for?
Jews all over the world have proven to be safer. To wit: Follow the Torah's advice, which is, in Golus, Jews flexing their muscle against the nations of the world will fail, in deadly fashion r"l. The Jewish nation survives in Golus by being at peace with nations and by following the Torah, not by claiming to be stronger than them.


What does saving Jews have to do with Zionism? Those who believe in going to the army do so NOT because they believe in Zionism c"v but because they want to protect Jews from being killed.

The Chazon Ish was asked by Ben Gurion sr"y, "If you were in charge of Israel, would you arm the soldiers with Gemoras or rifles?"

The Chazon Ish answered, "This is like the story of a person who saw his friend in a pit, and helped pull him out. The friend started hugging and kissing his rescuer, who stopped him and said “Don’t thank me so much - I was the one who dug that pit!"

So too said the Chazon Ish, if it weren’t for the Zionists we wouldn’t need the guns in the first place. It is they who put us in this danger.

Someone who takes up a gun to protect Jews in EY does not mean he believes in Zionism c"v. All he is doing, as the Chazon Ish said, is protecting Jews from the danger that the Zionists put them in in the first place.


Issue #1) It would be great if the Zionists would all change their mind, decide to follow the Torah, allow and even assist an international peace-keeping force in Israel so that the State could be dismantled slowly and safely. It would take years, but it could theoretically be done.

That is what it says in Al Hageulah --- he is talking there about the responsibility of the Zionists for the deaths of Jews at their hands, and he is saying that they DO have a choice.

But that is only in a fantasy world. This is not an attainable goal, since the Zionists are not going to do this. Not in a million years.

So even though the Zionists have a choice, we do not. When someone asks, "what can we do in the REAL WORLD to solve the Zionism problem" the answer is not "Well, if the Zionists were different it would be solvable".

And that's Issue #2) Now that the Zionists are what they are, and they will never allow the slow dismantling of the State under international auspices, with the IDF helping protect Palestinians and Jews alike, all the time apologizing, mollifying, appeasing, and making reparations to the Arabs etc etc -- therefore, the only thing we can do is pray for the State to go away.


Anti-semitism was always around, but in the last hundred years, since the advent of Zionism, it has never been worse --- and Zionism had a hand most of it. The holocaust, chevron, Arab terrorism -- Zionism just made all of that worse for us, not better. (Please see Rav Hutner's article in the Jewish Observer posted in the forums about how the Zionists were a cause of the holocaust). More Jews were killed in Israel than everywhere else in the world put together -- it’s clearly the most dangerous place in the world for Jews to live.

And the army? It hasn't helped prevent the largest amount of deaths of Jews anywhere in the world - and that’s man-for-man. Proportionate to the population, Israel is even more dangerous than an inner-city ghetto. The 900 Jews who were killed hy"d in the past couple of years in Israel alone equals about 50,000 deaths percentage-wise in America.

And worse: the entire army, and the entire State of Israel, is so subservient to the Goyim, that it makes the phrase "atzmaut" laughable. As Rav Shach points out, without American assistance, Israel would not last 3 weeks. If America decides rachmana latzlan, to turn on the Jews the way the Germans did, Israel is dead meat. So what’s the point?

All it has accomplished is inflaming anti-semitism all over the world, and causing countless deaths.

If you want to see just how impotent Israel is without the help of the Goyim, take the first Gulf war as an example. The Arabs told America we will help you fight against Iraq only if Israel is not in the coalition. America said fine, and Israel was left out. But worse -- Israel was told by America that they are not even allowed to fight back when attacked! And so it was. Scud missiles rained down on civilian neighborhoods, and Israel - because America told them to - stood still like a good robots and did nothing, rather than disobey the orders of the United States of America.

And yet. And yet, despite all that, 39 missiles fell on Israel and - chasdei Hashem - no fatalities. Is this not a clear sign of where our safety lies? Not in the State of Israel, that’s for sure - they did zilch to protect Jews, because despite all their pompous talk about nowwefinallyhaveourownstateandnowwearefinallyindependentandnowwearestrongyadyada, as Rav Shach wrote way before the Gulf War, all that is nothing but the bluster of the "arrogant poor man" who shnorrs from others and then convinces himself he's a tycoon.

The Jewish nation is strong - we’ve survived for 2000 years of golus where the Romans Greeks and Persians have disappeared. But our strength is not in our physical prowess - there, we are the weakest of nations. We are a sheep, chazal say, among 70 wolves. It's Esav that received the Brachah of b'chrbechah sichyeh - not us. If Zionists want to get dressed in a wolf costume and then convince themselves they're strong enough to kill all the real wolves, then that's their problem, but leave normal people out of it.


Jews are not allowed to give their lives for anything except to avoid the 3 Cardinal sins.

You would not give your life to keep Shabbos. You would not give your life to keep Kosher. You would not give your life to put on Tefillin.

Your life is more important to Hashem than any Mitzvah.

So what is your Heter to forgive your life for a Jewish State in Eretz Yisroel??????

Can't you see the anti-Torah attitude here? You are making Eretz Yisroel into an Avodah Zorah!

Please look and see - this is exactly why Zionism was considered Avodah Zorah by our Torah leaders. Eretz Yisroel only has value within the context of the Torah. By saying that you would sacrifice your life for Jews to own land in Eretz Yisroel is giving ownership of EY religious value that is not within the Jewish religion, because in the Jewish religion, your life has more value than ownership of land.

And that constitutes Avodah Zorah.


Although all the great and powerful ancient nations are gone, the Jews, have survived.

This is because the Jews throughout the centuries knew the secret of survival. Jewish survival, at least.

That is, whereas the other Nations survive based on who is stronger, where the Jewish nation is concerned, it is just the opposite. For us to remain safe, we are instructed by Hashem in the Gemora in Kesuvos not to defy the nations of the world, even when we are right and they are wrong. We do not survive by waging wars or by any show of physical strength. On the contrary - the less we are in conflict with the nations of the world, the safer we are. The more we are in conflict with them, the more deadly it is for us. Regardless of how physically "strong" we are.

This is how we have so miraculously survived two thousand years of Golus. By following the instructions of Torah and our sages throughout the generations: Do NOT fight with the Goyim.

If we do fight with them, we can only lose r"l. The Gemora says the result will be that Jewish blood will be spilled "like that of game hunted in the field."
Writes Rabbeinu Bachya (Vayishlach): "So too we must follow the ways of our ancestors, and to prepare ourselves to engage the [Goyim] with gifts and with soft speech, and by praying to Hashem. But [to engage them] with war is not possible, as it says (Shir HaShirim 2:7) 'I have made you swear....' Hashem made the Jews swear that they will not confront the nations of the world in war."

Our policy has always been - and must always be - to make peace with our enemies. Confrontation has always led to disaster. Says the Seforno (Berershis 33:4): "And Esav rushed [to greet Yaakov] - His attitude reversed because of Yaakov's giving in to him. As Chazal say (Taanis 20a) Achiyah HaShiloni cursed Klall Yisroel that they will be like a reed that bends to every wind [Moderator's Note: The Gemora says there that this "curse" of Achiya was better for the Jews that the "blessing" of Bilaem, since a reed that bends, survives. Bileam "blessed" them with the opposite.] Behold, if the Baryonim would have done so [i.e. made peace with the enemy] in the days of the second Bais HaMikdash, the Bais HaMikdash would not have been destroyed."

Says the Gemora in Pesachim (118b): "What caused the Jews to be scattered among the nations? The wars that they desired." Explains the Maharsha, "We may explain 'wars' here according to its plain meaning, that is, during the first Bais HaMikdash, if the Jews would have made peace with Nevuchadnezar, i.e. had Tzidkiyahu not fought him, they would not have gone into Golus at all. And more so during the second Bais HaMikdash, had the rebellious Jews listened to Rav Yochana ben Zakai and to the sages of that generation, and made peace with Titus, they would not have been a Golus."

Note that at the time of the Baryonim and Tzidkiyahu we were not yet even in Golus. But Golus was imminent (See also Radak Yirmiyah 38:2). For Jews do not live by the strength of their hands - that is Esav's lot, Yedayim Yedei Asav.

The Noam Elimelech (Bereishis 33) writes: "'So you shall say to my master, to Esav' - Behold the holy Torah is teaching us how to behave in this bitter Golus, that we are put under the hand of the nations, and we must accept the Golus with love, until Hashem has mercy on us and quickly brings the everlasting redemption. And as long as we are in the bitter Golus we are obliged to be subservient to them [= the Goyim] and to refer to them as 'Masters'. This is [what it means when it says], 'So you should say to my Master, Esav', meaning, we should refer to him as master when speaking to him, and then, when he [nevertheless] continues to hurt us more than what is deemed appropriate, with taxes and tariffs, he will be considered a thief, and because of this Hashem will have mercy on us, for it is sufficient that we subjugate ourselves to them and give them honor".

And, even when we did go to war legitimately (in the days of the Kings), it wasn't with an "army" like we imagine today.

In the days of the Maskilim, some frum Jews ran to Rav Chaim Brisker with a comic strip from some Maskilishe newspaper, which poked fun at the "old fashioned" Jews.

It showed Klall Yisroel getting ready to go to "war." The Rabbis got up in front of the entire congregation and announced, OK, we are about to go to war. Anyone who is not on a high spiritual level should leave now!"

Half the assembled left.

Then the rabbi said, "Anyone who is scared to go to war should leave now."

Another three quarters left.

"Anyone who recently got married - leave now!". More left.

This went on and on, until, in the end, there were only two people left to fight the war: Rav Chaim Brisker and the Chofetz Chaim, all alone to fight against the Nations of the World.

They ran to Rav Chaim with this asking what they should do in response.

Rav Chaim read the comic strip panel by panel. "Very good", he said, when the Jews left the recruiting group for the first time.

"Excellent", he said, when he saw that those who recently got married had to leave.

"Perfect!" "Wonderful!" he said, panel by panel, as he read through the whole thing, till the end.

"Everything is wonderful," Rav Chaim said when he finished. "Except for one thing, that they forgot to write."

"What’s that?" they asked him.

"We won the war."

The Seforim say that since the army is a dangerous place, in order to merit the shechinah to be with them, the troops have to be on an extra high level. Immorality automatically chases Hashem's presence from an army; the need for morality and righteousness is intensified greatly.

Our armies in the olden days had people like the Chofetz Chaim and Rav Chaim Brisker. We had prophets who would give us "intelligence" regarding enemy whereabouts and plans. We had an Urim V'Tumim that would tell us if we would win or lose the war.

A "Jewish army" is a totally different concept than a non-Jewish one. And that's when we do wage war. In Golus, war is doomed to fail, backfire, and cause deaths of Jews liek hunted animals r"l.

Note: There is an exception. The above only applies when Jews are fighting to defend their lives. But when there is a decree not to kill Jews but to make them non-religious - a shmad - then, and only then, are we moser nefesh and take up arms against the enemy (like we did on Chanukah). For such a war is not a war for ourselves - it is a war for Hashem. We make Hashem's war ours, in such a case. Not a single Jews needed to die by the Chanukah decrees - they only had to give up Mitzvos and the Greeks would have been happy. As opposed to Purim, for instance, where there was a decree to kill the Jews, there, we did not take up arms, and instead plotted a peaceful, "political" solution (of course, after the danger was over, and the government was on our side, we were able to "rise up" against the left over enemies. But the decree was not met by physical resistance on the part of the Jewish nation.)


We need to disabuse ourselves of the idea that Israel can defend itself. Only Hashem protects us - not soldiers, not anyone. And to "flex our muscles" at the nations just creates anti-semitism and endangers Jews. We must be subservient to the nations in Golus, not annoy them, and accept whatever troubles the Golus and the nations unfortunately meet upon us; physical resistance only backfires. We must oppose any idea that defies the Nations of the world, even if we Jews are right. We must not do anything to cause anti-semitism in the world, even in the form of raised oil prices because of the Jews, for such things fan the flames of hate. "The State of Israel is not the people of Yisroel - and even if something may be in the best interests of the State of Israel, it may not be in the best interests of the people of Yisroel." For instance, if Israel defies America's commands, they are putting the Jews of America in danger. We are not a self-ruling nation in Golus that we can say "America says this, we will say differently". We are in Golus, America is not. We must not defy or fight the nations of the world, for that creates anti-semitism and puts all of Klall Yisroel in danger.


If they're not in Yeshiva at all, and not learning at all, they have worse problems than not serving in the army. But someone who is learning, even if he is not officially enrolled in a yeshiva is doing the same as those in Yeshiva.


Women should not be drafted. It is a terrible violation of Tznius that they send women to the army. Women are prohibited to be soldiers in the army.
The Israeli government's law to draft women into the army generated the fiercest and most united Rabbinic opposition to any Jewish issue in the past century. The Chazon Ish, who led the opposition, ruled that if the law is passed, it would be the obligation of every Jew to defy it, literally unto death!

The Chazon Ish rejected as thoroughly unacceptable a proposal to draft women into the Army only under very supervised conditions. He - and all the other Rabbonim of their time - considered going to the army an Abizrayu D'Giluy Arayos - the beginning of immorality, and as such cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Better, even, to die.


Rav Shach ZTL, in several places in his letters, prohibits Shearut L'Umi as well, because of bad influences, and because the purpose is to get women into full army service.




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